Baked Vanilla Cake Doughnuts are irresistibly delicious and so much easier to make than fried doughnuts.  These doughnuts are perfectly tender with a vanilla glaze, and they take minutes to make!  They also make 18, so there’s plenty to go around!

Baked Vanilla Donuts.

Do you love homemade doughnuts but don’t like the hassle of deep-frying them?  Well, I’m here to tell you that baked doughnuts are every bit as good as those messy deep-fried ones. 

My family loves homemade doughnuts, but I’ve always hated the mess of deep-frying doughnuts and wasting all that oil.  Also, deep-fried doughnuts are good when they’re first made, but not so good the next day.  On the other hand, baked cake doughnuts are every bit as good the next day and they don’t have that greasy after taste the day after they’re made.

Once I show you how easy these baked Vanilla Cake Doughnuts are to make, you’ll be making them all the time for your family!

It takes less than 15 minutes to mix up the batter for these simple, yet delicious doughnuts.  Here’s what you need to make them…

  • 1 1/4 cups full-fat buttermilk, room temp
  • 1 large egg, room temp
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spoon & leveled
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg*
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

*Most bakery cake doughnuts have a tiny bit of nutmeg in them, so I’ve included it in this recipe.  If you don’t have nutmeg you can omit it and the doughnuts will still have a delicious vanilla flavor.


You’ll need a couple of doughnut pans for this recipe.  However, if you don’t have doughnut pans, don’t worry!  You can fill greased muffin tins 3/4 full and make muffin doughnuts without the holes.  However, doughnut pans are inexpensive and a great investment.  Once you make these baked doughnuts, you’ll be making all kinds of baked doughnuts and you’ll get SO much use out of your doughnut pans.


  1. Lightly spray the pan cavities with non-stick spray.  These are non-stick pans, but I still lightly spray them.
  2. Use a piping bag with a round tip to fill the cavities, or simply cut off the corner of a storage bag.  You can even spoon the batter into the cavities if need be.
  3. Fill the cavities 3/4 full, no more!
  4. Don’t over bake the doughnuts!  Bake them for about 17 to 20 minutes until they spring bake when touched on top.  The tops will just be starting to slightly brown.  The sides will be golden brown.  Lightly tap the pans on a counter to ensure the doughnuts are loose and invert them onto a cooling rack.

NOTE:  This recipe makes 18 doughnuts.  I baked 2 pans, cooled and cleaned the pans, and baked 1 more.

Vanilla Baked Donuts.
Baked Vanilla Donuts.


The vanilla glaze takes 5 minutes to make.  Here’s all you need…

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  • sprinkles, optional


  1. Dip the top of each doughnut in the glaze.
  2. When the glaze is about 1/2 set, garnish the doughnuts with the sprinkles.  NOTE:  If the glaze is too wet, the sprinkles will sort of melt into the glaze, and you don’t want that.  However, don’t wait until the glaze is totally set before adding the sprinkles or they will roll off and not stick to the glaze.  I don’t suggest using sugar sprinkles.  They will melt into the glaze.  I used non-perils in the pictures here, or you can use jimmies.
Vanilla Baked Doughnuts.

Allow the glaze to dry and firm up, then place the doughnuts in an airtight container, placing wax paper between the layers.

Baked Vanilla Donuts.

These doughnuts are SO versatile.  You can add sprinkles to the mix, glaze them with chocolate, dust them with powdered sugar…do whatever makes you happy!

Check out more doughnut recipes…

Baked Pumpkin Donuts

Glazed Yeast Donuts

Baked Jelly Filled Donuts  

If you make this recipe please rate it, and leave a comment below on how you liked it. I love getting your feedback! 🙂

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Vanilla Donuts.

Baked Vanilla Cake Doughnuts

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Cindy Gibbs
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 17 to 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 52 minute
  • Yield: 18 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


These Baked Vanilla Cake Doughnuts are irresistibly delicious and so much easier to make than fried ones.  These doughnuts are perfectly tender with a vanilla glaze, and they take minutes to make!  


Units Scale


  • 1 1/4 cups full-fat buttermilk, room temp
  • 1 large egg, room temp
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spoon & leveled
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup granulated sugar


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  • sprinkles, optional



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray 2 doughnut pans with cooking spray and set them aside.
  2. In a 2 cup measuring cup or medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, vanilla, butter, and oil.  Set aside.
  3. In a larger bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt & nutmeg.  Mix in the sugar.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated.  Do not overmix.  The batter should be slightly thick but pourable.
  4. Attach a round decorating tip to a piping bag and fill it 2/3 full with the batter.  Alternately, you can cut the corner off a large zip-top bag.  Squeeze the batter into the donut cavities, filling 3/4 full, no more!  The third option…you can spoon the batter into the donut cavities.  Shake the donut pans back and forth to level out the batter, and bake the donuts for about 17 to 20 minutes until they spring back when touched or test clean with a toothpick.
  5. Tap the pans on a counter a couple of times to ensure donuts are loose and invert them onto a wire cooling rack to completely cool.  Clean one of the pans and fill with the remaining batter and bake as before, unless you have 3 donut pans and can bake them all at once.


  1. Add the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of the milk to a medium bowl.  Whisk together until the glaze is smooth and slightly thick.  You might have to add a third tablespoon of milk.  You want it to be a perfect dipping consistency.  Not so thin that it will run off the donuts, but not so thick that you can’t dip them.
  2. Dip the top half of each donut in the glaze.  Transfer the donuts to a wire rack placed over a piece of parchment or wax paper.  Decorate with your favorite sprinkles before the glaze totally sets up.
  3. Once the glaze is set, serve the donuts or place them in an airtight container.  Homemade donuts are best when eaten the day they are made.  You can keep them in an airtight container on a counter for up to 2 days.


  • Sprinkles:  I don’t recommend using sugar sprinkles on the donuts.  They tend to melt into the glaze.  I used nonpareils.  You can also use multi-colored jimmies or sprinkles.
  • Freezing donuts:  Donuts can be frozen for up to 2 months, glazed or unglazed.  When freezing, I suggest placing a layer of wax paper between layers.  Thaw in the refrigerator.  Warm in the microwave for no more than 10 seconds.
  • No Donut Pan:  No problem!  You can spray a muffin pan and spoon the dough into the muffin tins, filling them 3/4 full, and make donut muffins.  Bake them until they are golden brown on top and spring back when touched.
  • No Buttermilk: If you don’t have buttermilk, you can use regular milk, or you can make a buttermilk substitution by adding 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a cup of milk and allowing it to sit for 5 minutes.
  • Nutmeg:  If you don’t have nutmeg, don’t worry.  You can leave it out and the donuts will still taste great.  They have plenty of vanilla for flavor.  The nutmeg lends a flavor to the donuts like the ones you buy at a bakery.